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#MumisBest Guest Post – Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

 

Mum is best – Can we have it all?

When you get pregnant, you mentally make lots of decisions about how life might be with a family.

You may decide that you want to follow some kind of “written” guidebook of how life will be (the likes of Gina Forde). Or you might like the idea that you can fit the baby into your life and it’ll be easy to have it all.

Of course, you know it’s going to impact your life and there’ll be sacrifices, but you have no idea what they will really be until that little face pops out and drains every last smidgen of energy you have left. The chances are that the naive decisions you tried to make during pregnancy will turn out to have been a pipe dream.

For most mums I know, even though they may have been super ambitious prior to pregnancy, changes happen. Priorities change. Energy levels change. Work changes. They change.

Priorities

For some Mums, they continue their career path and choose to return to work full time. That’s fine. For a lot of us (me included) they seek a more flexible working pattern because their job is suddenly not the ‘be all and end all’ that it once was. That’s fine too. Many may not be able to change their work situations financially. Equally fine, although I’m sure they’d prefer not to. Whichever it is, that good old “Mum guilt” will go into overdrive.

I am self employed so I didn’t really take a break at all, as I’d work around the clock. I mean, I was up anyway, so I thought I may as well sneak a bit of work in whilst she was feeding. I now have a more organised structure working only during childcare or at night time if I need to.

Energy levels

Once your offspring is sleeping more, you’ll most likely feel more tired. You might now be doing those extra jobs you didn’t get around to during the day well after little one is down for the night. Or you may still be up throughout the night. In short, you’re still going to be knackered most of the time and that’s likely to influence whatever work situation you have.

Work

You haven’t been around for a long time, and in most businesses, a lot changes in a short space of time. So it’s likely that work won’t be the same place that you left.

So what does that mean?

It means that “having it all” might actually not be the easiest thing to achieve. There is a strong possibility that you’ll constantly feel as though things aren’t quite right and you could do something better. You will probably always feel as though you are letting someone down.

So here’s the thing… you’re not.

You’re doing something amazing.

Whether you’re back at work, a SAHM or somewhere in between, you’re showing your child the realities of modern life. It bloody hard and we think we can do everything. Very rarely do I say ‘no’ to much, hence working with a newborn, but seriously, it’s knackering.

There is no perfect solution that won’t make you feel as though you’ve done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.

It’s an ever-growing debate, and there is certainly no right or wrong. You just have to do what is right for your and your family.

The way I work, I feel like my daughter knows that I am always around for then important things, but she also knows that Mummy works too. That’s her time to have fun with her friends at nursery.

So my advice is, don’t try to have it all. Try to have a good balance and continue to be uber awesome, because Mum, you are.

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum!

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Ali from Mummy Mama Mum!

Before I had kids I would have definitely described myself as a workaholic. In many ways this hasn’t changed, but the nature of what I do most certainly has!

When I fell pregnant with my first child, Amelia, I knew that I definitely wanted to return to my full time job running a busy retail business, and I knew that I wanted to return full time. I mean, my business was my baby, and even the thought of handing over he reigns to someone else for 6 months brought me out in a cold sweat. Even during the first week or two after Amelia was born, I was itching to get back. When the time finally came around, I was eager to get back to real world, and eager to get back my salary and main breadwinner status. 6 very long and painful months later, I called the regional director on Friday and told him I wouldn’t be back on Monday.

It was both the hardest and easiest decision I have ever made. I felt like I was giving up on a part of myself, and I suppose in a way I was. But I was also creating a very new story for myself and my family, mainly one that actually involved weekends together! I didn’t last long being out of work completely, and ended up taking on a trainee position at the nursery that Amelia was enrolled at. The training has now ended, and I am now a fully qualified Early Years Teacher, which has opened up a whole host of new doors I hadn’t even considered previously.

I worked part time while Amelia attended nursery, until I very suddenly fell pregnant with Wills. I knew that I would return to work again after he was born, but I have to say that this time the lead up to my return was very different. I felt an actual desire to stay at home full time, especially as maternity leave the second time around was when I had started my blog. But return I did, and I must say it wasn’t as catastrophic as I had feared it might be. The washing still gets done, the dinner still gets cooked (batch cooking is most definitely my friend), and we still have lots of time together.

But it is all set to change again! At the end of July, we are moving over 100 miles away from our current home! While Mr C is able to take his job with him, I unfortunately cannot bring the nursery with us! This means that, as things stand, I will once again have no out-of-the-home paid work. I will be a SAHM once again, and while I dreaded it the first time around, this time I’m ready!

I have my blog to keep me focussed and driven, which is what I feel was missing after Amelia was born. And I think that just about sums it up for me; it doesn’t matter what you choose to do, as long as what you choose works for you. After 3 years of trying out pretty much everything, I have finally worked out that it’s not necessarily work that I need, but something that keeps me driven to succeed (aside from the kids, obvs!) That has now taken form in my blog, and I’m suddenly much less interested in dragging my un-makeupped face out of the house in the morning!

Work, no work, SAHM, WAHM, running around the forest barefoot mum! Just do whatever works for you and yours! Forget all the titles that came before; forget about being a stay-at-home-mum or working mum, or any of the others – focus on being a happy mum with happy kids. That is all that matters in the end.

 

You can see more from Aleena here!

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Jessie from The Spilt Milk

#MumisBest Guest Post – Jessie from The Spilt Milk

 Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Jessie from The Spilt Milk!

Working is therapy you get paid for!

Today I am not embracing the chaos. I cannot embrace the frustration of my newly clean jeans covered in smooshed pear because the baby won’t sit still.  

I am not able to take the needed deep breath to stay calm with my toddler punching me in the back because I won’t let him eat his stolen sweets from the kitchen cupboard. 

Today I just want to be somewhere else and not be called mummy for a few precious moments. 

I have been a stay at home mum since I graduated uni when Noah was 18 months old. Now he is 3 and a half and Oswin is almost a year old. I have moments of feeling like the luckiest person to have no 3rd world worries and that I can enjoy my little ones being little without needing to leave them. 

In the last couple of months I have had more moments of feeling like: 

“Oh my God I just want to sleep for longer than an hour without a mini boobaholic attaching herself like a joey” and equally:  “will I ever leave the house alone again except for doing the food shopping?”

This week I did get the chance to leave the house and even stay out by myself! To do some temp work inputting questionnaire data on a computer. A few years ago I would have cried at the idea of brain numbing computer work but now, good lord it was like therapy. 

I got the chance to talk to grown ups, well 21 year olds, no-one was in competition about how much their toddler could do or what age the baby starting walking. I didn’t even hear one person say how much they love Sainsbury’s 25% sale for kids clothes! 

It was official I was out of my comfort zone and I loved it. I made one awkward comment of “it’s so nice to have my boobs to myself for the day”. I got at least 3 strange looks before I explained that I breastfeed… Then they looked at me like I was old. Boo

I worked for 6 hours, honestly the longest I have sat still since before both babies came along. It was heaven. I missed them like hell after a couple of hours but it was a good distance for us I think. 

Yesterday I took them both to the sea side and I felt more grateful for the time I have with them. We played on the beach and I cuddled them more than I think I do on a general day. 

I don’t think I could be away from them every day but I am looking forward to working again next week. It’s good to feel needed for a really dull reason rather than to literally keep another human alive. Sometimes it’s nice to just blend in and not be so important! 

You can find more from Jessie here:

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Sleeplessness, Dancing and Buckets of Rain

Sleeplessness, Dancing and Buckets of Rain

Today has been a miserable day.  Hubs headed back to work after a few days off, leaving me to solo-parent two under two.  The rain has been torrential and the littlest of my brood refused to nap, not even a wink!

Now usually I rock parenting two so young. I’m no expert and far from perfect, but over the past two years I’ve had a lot of practice.  I’ve become adept at entertaining two children at once and I’m the master of diverting attention, to derail a tantrum hurtling towards me at full speed.  Please don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying my children don’t throw tantrums, just that I’m a quick learner and I’m all for saving myself.

Today though I found my patience wearing a little thinner than usual.  My lack of a nap time breather due to said child who doesn’t need sleep, meant I found myself mentally running for the hills.  We’ve all been there, those days when bed time feels like it won’t ever arrive.  Instead of running for the hills though, I scrabbled to get them in the car before the rain soaked us all to the skin, to get the older of our girls to dancing.

My daughter loves her dance classes, mostly because parents have to get involved.  So she’s able to laugh at my two left feet, moving incredibly un-rhythmically across the village hall. My by this point overtired and irritable second child, sat in the wings cheering us both on with her wails of displeasure at being confined to the pushchair to watch.

It’s become apparent that having two toddlers in the house means bickering is a given.  Even at their young ages they have found ways to wind each other up, they can go from best friends, to mortal enemies and back again in record time.  So our subsequent supermarket dash, saw the littlest repeatedly trying to kick her sister in the head from the trolley baby seat.  Wonderful.

However, despite the sleeplessness, dancing and buckets of rain I can’t help but feel content with our little life.  Hubs and I have created two perfect little devils, for every argument there are twice as many laughs and more love than you can measure.  As they say, the days are long but the years are short.  Things won’t be like this forever and when they change I know that there’ll be so much that I’ll miss.

If I take anything from today, it’s that being on the ball 24/7 just isn’t possible.  Raising little humans can be incredibly trying and all we can do is our best in any given situation.  I’m not going to advise that cherishing every moment is the way forward, that would definitely make you superhuman.  What I will say is that if you look hard enough, there’s often a little good in most situations and focussing on that might just get you through.

 

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Mummy Friends – United We Stand

Mummy Friends – United We Stand

This week Little E has had the most unsettled week she has had since she was born.  We have had a week of all day grumpiness, tears and bedtime screaming!  Babies cry though right?  I would normally agree, but in comparison to my first-born Little E has been a dream.  I love you Baby J but you were such a screamer!

So when Monday came and Little E’s temperament had changed almost over night, we were worried, very worried!  As Hubs has been working long shifts this week, the majority of the childcare has been left in my capable hands!  Unsettledness during the day, teamed with two hours worth of bedtime screaming has been tiring to say the least.  With no husband on hand to whinge to, who do we call?  Mummy friends!

There was a time before children when Mummy friends did not exist in my life.  When your out on the town until the early hours.   Drinking too much and calling for the kebab you know your going to regret eating in the morning, the last thing your thinking about is children.  Fast forward two years to a time when you just aren’t cool enough to be out on the town, or just too damn knackered, you realise that Mummy friends are where it’s at.  Then you start to wonder what you ever did without them!

This week I have been spurred on by the mutual understanding of parental shittiness, by a fellow Mummy who feels my pain.  Being able to pick up the phone at 3am, knowing you’re going to get a reply almost straight away because they are up too is extremely cathartic!  We have laughed, smiled, whined and moaned, reminisced and then moaned some more!

Now that we are approaching the end of the week Little E seems to be getting back to her usual quiet and contented self.  Her cries have been replaced by smiles and she’s back to sleeping at night!  Hooray!

With this in mind, for this weeks Thankful Thursday…I want to give a HUGE shout out to all the Mummy friends out there.  Especially my own, who have gotten me through another one of those damn phases!  So thankyou guys, for listening to the moans and cheering me on.  I am so thankful to be on this crazy parenting ride with you, you’re the best!

 

What are you thankful for this week?

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

 

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